Two birds associated with myth: Zeus’s eagle, often used to indicate his presence in disguise, and the symbol of night and wisdom, the owl.
Barefoot and sometimes surprising, as Christ washes the disciples’ feet, and other feet are missing altogether. Barefoot means poverty too.
Symbols of the night, and through association with Athena/Minerva, for wisdom and learning. Owls in paintings to William Blake.
From mythology, Mercury’s caduceus and the Aesculapian Staff, walking sticks as a device indicating age, and those carried by travellers.
Bare feet as a sign of rural poverty, among irregular peasant volunteer soldiers, and striking miners. But what about the kissing of feet?
A celebration of painted dragons in European art, including Moreau, William Blake, Raphael, Tintoretto and others.
Not an illusion as such, it has been used to great effect by a wide range of painters from Mantegna to Munch.
The use of symbols in paintings from the Renaissance to the start of the nineteenth century, with van Eyck, Rubens, Girodet, and others.
Feet in social history, from Winslow Homer, Jules Bastien-Lepage, Jules Breton, Bonnard, Schiele, Degas, and others.
How Vertumnus tried to trick Pomona into loving him, then told her a threatening story. Neither worked: it was being himself that won her in the end.